US confident of Pakistan's nuclear security

Published June 10, 2014
Deputy Spokesperson at the State Department Marie Harf. — File photo
Deputy Spokesperson at the State Department Marie Harf. — File photo

WASHINGTON: The United States has reaffirmed its confidence in the safety of Pakistani nuclear assets following Sunday night's terrorist attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.

“We believe the Pakistani government understands the importance of protecting all of its arsenal, including things related to its nuclear program,” Deputy Spokesperson at the State Department Marie Harf said at the daily briefing.

“We know that they care about this a great deal and have no reason at this point to think it's anything but safe,” she added, when asked about the US views on safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, in the wake of terrorist assault on Karachi airport, the State Department has said the US stands steadfast in its commitment to the people of Pakistan in their efforts to counter terrorism and build a peaceful future.”

“We support Pakistan's efforts to bring all those involved in planning and executing this attack to justice,” Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Regrettably, she noted, the Pakistani people face violent assaults from numerous groups.

She also expressed the US sincere condolences to those affected by this heinous attack on pilgrims in Balochistan and said Washington strongly condemns those responsible.

“Extremist violence against innocent Pakistani men, women, and children of any faith is an assault on universal human values.”

“We encourage the government to take steps to protect and improve the lives of members of Pakistan's minorities and take concrete steps to promote tolerance and religious freedom. “

US condemns Karachi airport attack; offers help with probe

Condemning the terrorist attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport, the US offered Pakistan its help in investigating the incident on the country's largest airport.

“(We) join the Pakistani people in condemning this attack. We have offered assistance to the relevant Pakistani authorities in investigating this crime,” Deputy Spokesperson at the State Department Marie Harf said, while wishing the injured speedy recovery and condoling with families of the victims.

Harf also told the daily briefing that there are no reports of American citizens among the casualties and all staff at the American mission is safe.

Explaining the American probe offer, she said Pakistan has a number of capabilities to handle these incidents and the US is ready to help Pakistan with the investigation.

Harf said counterterrorism is a shared concern for the US and Pakistan.

Broadly speaking, she said, Washington works closely with Pakistan in areas of counterterrorism, to help build the South Asian country's capacity to deal with terrorist threats. She also cited the cooperative efforts by Pakistan and the US in combating terrorism along the Afghan border.

“The Pakistani people themselves have been tragically the victims of many of these terrorist attacks. So the cooperation is ongoing,” Harf noted.

Questioned about efficacy of continuing Pakistani air strikes, the spokesperson said she is not going to comment on any specific air strikes one way or another.

“The terrorist groups like the TTP should stop attacking innocent civilians,” she said and added that the militants should lay down their arms.



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